The WA State Government has announced a priority pathway to permanent residence will be made available for high-achieving graduates from WA universities through the introduction of a Graduate Skilled Migration List in coming months. WA University graduates with a PhD, Masters, Honours or other higher degree graduates will have access to priority consideration for permanent skilled migration through the Subclass 190 and Subclass 489 State Nominated migration program if their occupation appears on the new Graduate Skilled Migration list.
We expect the priority pathway to permanent residence will make WA more appealing for international students wishing to stay in the state after their studies, particularly as figures by the Department of Home Affairs revealed the number of student visas lodged in WA dropped by 12 per cent in 2016-17, with WA being the only state to experience a decline. We believe recent migration policy changes may have contributed to the decline, including the removal of Perth’s eligibility from the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, and the decision to drastically reduce the eligible occupations on WA’s Skilled Migration Occupation List from 178 to 18 occupations for Subclass 190 and 489 visas. These policy changes had limited permanent residence pathways for international students in WA and in our experience, the prospect of permanent residence is a significant incentive for international students.
The introduction of the Graduate Skilled Migration List is encouraging news for international students as it will be available in addition to the existing WA Skilled Migration Occupation List (WASMOL), which now only comprises of nursing and medical practitioner occupations since last year’s reduction. The additional list will effectively broaden the number of occupations eligible for permanent migration for high performing students in WA and enable them to receive priority consideration to stay in Australia.
Interstaff will keep you updated on the occupations that will become eligible for permanent residence under the new Graduate Skilled Migration List as further information is announced. Currently the State Government is negotiating with the Federal Government on the numbers of students that will be eligible via the new pathway. The WA Government has also committed $2 million to develop an international education strategy for incentives to choose WA as a study destination, which is expected to be announced later this year. We are looking forward to hearing more about these initiatives and updating you further. To find out if you are currently eligible for a student visa or permanent residence, contact our migration agents on +61 8 9221 3388 (or National Free Call 1800 449 858) or [email protected]